Language Arts Reading

Patterns of Organization and Critical Thinking

Lesson Objectives

  • Learn about the different patterns of organization

What Are Patterns of Organization?

  • Writers use a variety of organization strategies to present their ideas in different ways
  • Six Patterns of Organization
    • Example
    • Definition
    • Chronological order
    • Comparison/contrast
    • Listing

Pattern of Organization - Example

  • An example pattern uses specific, detailed situations to explain an idea
  • When organizing a paragraph, the author will state the main idea first, then follow with examples to support it

Main Idea




Pattern of Organization - Definition

  • A Definition pattern explains a term, then provides its characteristics or features
    • Ex. Rap music has evolved over the past few decades. This type of music uses rhythm and rhyme to convey a musical monologue.
  • When using this pattern of organization, ask yourself:
    • What is being defined?
    • What makes it different from other items or ideas?

Pattern of Organization - Chronological Order

  • Chronological order refers to the order in which something occurs
  • Often, writers use transitions to help keep track of the sequence of events
    • Ex. First, second, third, then, finally

Pattern of Organization - Comparison and Contrast

  • We use comparison and contrast on a daily basis (i.e. similarities and differences)
  • Writers use comparison/contrast to explain how something is similar to or different from something else
    • Comparison – similar
    • Contrast - different

Pattern of Organization - Cause and Effect

  • Writers use cause and effect to explain why an event or action causes another event or action to occur
  • Writers use cause and effect to tell a story
  • If you can determine the cause and effect in a story, you will have a good understanding of what happened and what the results were

(cause) → (effect)

Pattern of Organization - Listing

  • Listing is used when an author wants to mention items, but not in a particular order.
    • Ex. A patient experiences different symptoms and a doctor examines those symptoms before making a diagnosis.

Let's Practice

Please complete the Practice exercises, followed by the test in this module.